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John Barrie Morley

1934 - 2019
John Barrie Morley In Memoriam
Associate Professor


15 Dec 1934 – 14 Jan 2019

John Barrie Morley (neurologist) was born in Maroubra, NSW, the eldest of four children. He was educated at Carey Grammar School in Melbourne and graduated from the University of Melbourne with his MBBS in 1958, in both instances dux of his year.

Barrie spent his formative years at the Prince Henry Hospital in Melbourne before undertaking advanced training at the United Oxford Hospitals Neurology Unit, National Hospital for Nervous Diseases (Queens Square) and Guys Hospital in the United Kingdom (1962-1964). After entering private neurological practice in Melbourne in 1965, he served as a decorated neurologist for the Royal Australian Air Force (1969-1989, Reserve Force Decoration with Clasp). After moving to Toowoomba in 1992, Barrie provided clinics in numerous rural towns across south east Queensland. His academic interests included unusual peripheral neuropathy syndromes, epilepsy, cerebral gliomas and the neurology of music.

Known for his meticulous and compassionate advocacy for patients and war veterans, Barrie participated in various review committees including the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal, co-authoring six submissions to various Commonwealth and state government enquiries.

Barrie was dedicated to the education and mentorship of countless medical students and physician trainees in Victoria and Queensland for over sixty years. He was instrumental in founding the Monash Medical School where he served as Dean of Clinical School (1978-1979), the Head of Neurology and the Chairman at the Monash Medical Centre (1966-1989). He was made a life governor of Monash Medical Centre in 1978 and a life member of the Australian Brain Foundation in 1991. 

Cherished by his students for his eloquence in teaching and constant humility, Barrie was also an associate professor at the University of Queensland (from 2002 onwards), teaching at the Rural Clinical Schools in Toowoomba and Hervey Bay, QLD.  A family man of letters, culture and sport, Barrie was musician, poet, historian and sportsman (and an avid supporter of the Lions Football Club). He passed peacefully in Toowoomba at the age of 84 with family at his side.

Barrie was predeceased by his first and second wife, and is survived by his four children and five grandchildren
Published in The Age on May 11, 2019
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